HISTORY has been coming to life in Dudley as an archaeology team unearths secrets from the town’s past.

The redevelopment of the market place in the central shopping area has given archaeologists the chance to explore the remains of buildings known as Middle Row, which were demolished in the mid-19th century.

Excavations have shown the buildings in the town centre were constructed from limestone. A material commonly used in Dudley from the 17th century.

Timothy Malim, technical director of SLR Consulting who are carrying out the excavations, said: “Middle Row would have been built as a speculative development within the old open medieval market.

“It would have been the vibrant centre of the community, and the large quantities of oyster shell we are finding provides evidence for the kind of food that the ale houses could have been selling there.

“Such details provide a sense of place for the community and help bring history alive for shoppers in Dudley today.”

Councillor Judy Foster, Dudley cabinet member for regeneration, said: “I’m delighted that this exciting archaeological evidence has been uncovered as we undertake the redevelopment of the market place – linking our past, present and future together.

“It was always known that a programme of archaeological work would be required and this is a very exciting opportunity for us to learn more about the structures within the central part of the market place.

“I would like to remind visitors and shoppers that the town is still very much open for business and thank everyone for their patience as we undertake the work.”